Thursday, 16 May 2013

Berlin with the girls ♥

a while back during the many many months that was Danish winter this year, Marie asked the girls if we wouldn't like to make a girls' spring trip to Berlin. 
due to money and schedules and whatnot, in the end it was just Marie, Stine and me who ended op going.

the concept for the trip was clear from the get-go:
it was about a break from kids and husbands and daily chores, and about having time. time to shop, time to eat, time to talk, time to sleep, time to care only about your own adult needs (okay that sounds ambiguous) for 3 days! 

for them at least, cos, well, since I don't have kids I can pretty much do that every day \o/ 
so my concept was more about getting to stroll around Berlin, delicious noms, and talking to the girls uninterrupted!  

the girls only wanted to be away from the kids for max 2 nights, though, and since DK had a national holiday on May 9th we decided to go on May 9th - 11th.

we found and booked an apartment, we decided to drive rather than fly or take the train, I ordered ferry tickets, and even though the days before we were leaving were kinda crazy for all of us, Marie still managed to secure her parents' car cos ours suddenly had to go in for repairs during that week, and Stine's hubby really needed their car for stuff, aaaand... I dunno why we didn't drive Marie's car? they just got a new one, but I assume her hubs needed it for shuffling the kids around or something. 

Berlin had sunny and 25C in the days before our arrival, but Friday and Saturday it dropped to 20C + risk of small rain showers -.- 
Marie and Stine packed rain boots and whatnot, but I reasoned that my flipflops would manage just fine in rain seeing as they're made of rubber. I did intend to bring the cutest umbrella I bought in Korea, but of course I forgot it during the morning packing rush orz

so we met up at 8:45 in pouring rain at Marie's folks' and got a quick run-down of the car - not that we needed much teaching since we've all been driving for 1½ decades lol

Marie's mom did say we probably needed to fill up the car "soon", but it turned out there was still a quarter tank left so with Marie behind the wheel we set off towards the ferry!
it's 1½ hours to the ferry and we didn't stop talking the whole way, but it passed the time quickly :D

we made good time, but then about ½-1km from the ferry ticket drive-through traffic came to a screeching halt.. and at the same time the empty-gas-tank light came on orz

it took us a good 40 mins. to crawl those last few meters, and by then we had missed our ferry, the tank was even more empty, and I was in danger of flooding the whole car with my soon-to-explode bladder! 

but we got first in line to the next ferry - which we almost missed cos Marie was still in the bathroom when we were boarding! I had to run and get her and we almost held up the entire line and it was a mess LOL

instead of buying cafeteria food on the ferry we had all just brought a little something for lunch, and it was yummy and home-made and much better than deep-fried something from the cafeteria.

I drove once we got off the ferry, and 1st priority was to find a gas station, but... the one on the main road was further away than I remembered, so in the end we had to just drive off and hope that this tiny village on the left had a gas station.
oh, the joy when we spotted the bright blue lights of Aral. alles super!! 

the rest of the 5 hours to Berlin was a breeze. not much traffic and the road was smooth~~ 
and the tiny Chevy just managed 120 km/t so I couldn't complain too much.

about an hour late cos of the ferry thing, we arrived in Berlin, and the weather was still really nice and balmy despite it being around 6pm. 
once we got off the Autobahn we switched so Stine was driving the last few km in town cos I don't like big city traffic.

it was easy to find the apartment, and the guy was there to greet us and give us the key and stuff. 
he was a nice guy, a little older than us, and he might have been some kind of Eastern European originally.
he was very nice, and gave us a map and pointed to a few good eateries, and after having given us the wifi password, he left.

Stine and Marie started to send texts back home saying we made it safely, and I went to pee.
but these girls lol by the time I got out of the bathroom, they had worked each other into a frenzy about how this guy might come back at night and kidnap us like in "Taken". 
I just gave them a totally blank look, and we had a laughing fit cos they worried about getting kidnapped while I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to kidnap me for prostitution or whatever cos not pretty enough XD

we had specifically searched for apartments with 3 separate beds and not just 3 beds cos the girls are both very light sleepers and wanted their own space. I snore so that automatically gave me the bed furthest away ^^
anyway, since there obviously wasn't 3 beds we redecorated a bit before going out to look for dinner.

a look down our street

just a random pretty balcony
we stayed on the East edge of the area, Prenzlauer Berg, so for dinner we strolled West through the neighbourhood. we looked at windows and found some places we wanted to come back to the next day, and then we settled on this Italian place for dinner. 

it was a really nice place, a real Italian feel, and it was actual Italians who ran the place which is always a plus for an Italian restaurant.
the food was absolutely yummy! I had pizza with parma ham, rocket and shaved Parmesan, while the girls split the same pizza and a piece of home-made lasagna.
and then we talked some more.

but in the end they were completely cross-eyed from sleepiness so by 9:30 we were back in the apartment. 
of course they wanted to sleep in as late as they could aka no alarm the next morning, and I was a little worried cos I haven't gone to bed that early in forever unless I was really sick! lol 
I predicted I would be awake at like 4-5am cos I'm not used to more than 6 hours sleep, and despite having brought the ipod I couldn't even just stay in bed and browse cos we never got the wifi to work, so only Marie's phone worked, even Stine's phone wouldn't work o__o

so at 10pm we were all far away in dream land. 
I didn't wake up until 6:30 so that was nice, but by 9 I couldn't stay in bed any longer and snuck out to shower. by the time I got out they were also awake and well rested, despite Marie having nightmares about apartment guy coming back to grab us orz
they finished getting ready and we left to find breakfast at around 10am.

we went to one of the places apartment guy had recommended. there were lots of people and and what they had on their plates looked yummy, so we grabbed one of the last table outside and ordered what turned out to be a ton of food! 
it was relatively cheap and since the motto for the trip was no-holds-barred we just ordered whatever we felt like :D
there was so much that we could even make sandwiches and wrap them in napkins and bring them with us for lunch ^^
and then we talked some more, so in the end we didn't get to shopping until 11:30am.

before we left home, Stine had had time to look up a few crafts and fabric places she would like to visit, but other than that we didn't have any set plans at all, so we just walked around Prenzlauer Berg.

the weather was really nice all day. not much sun, but the temperature was just perfect for having to walk around and going in and out of shops. not too hot, but also not too cold to sit around outside. 

the girls bought some shoes that were half off

Kastanienallee, one of the most famous shopping streets in Berlin with lots of quirky shops and cafés - and people!

waiting and people watching while the girls went into yet another shop

one of the streets, Oderberger Straße, that had gone through a total remodelling since we were last in Berlin
in Oderberger Straße we all ended up falling in love with these printed t-shirts for our hubbys, so they all got the same present xD
it was from this little place called Silberfischer, and I was happy to hear their online shop ships to DK ^^

this store was literally an old-crap shop. they had all sorts of retro stuff, and a lot was cool, but then there were some broken stuff and just completely worn out stuff, like the rocking horse that were 54 years old, and should have been put down at least a decade ago..

because of my period I had a really sore lower back, and by 5:45 I couldn't walk anymore considering we also still had to walk all the way back to the apartment on the other side of the neighbourhood.
so I sat myself in a café with a big glass of apfelshorle, a big piece of cake, and my mp3 player and watched the world go by while Marie and Stine spend another 1½ hours shopping around.

by the time they got back they were pretty worn out, too, but we still had the 45 min. walk back to the apartment with all of our 859675938 heavy shopping bags orz

since we started talking about going to Berlin, Marie's hubby had recommended this sushi place, and Marie had talked about little else than that sushi, but by now it was way too late, and we were way too tired to go subway riding to Kreuzberg for sushi, no matter how good!

so instead we went to this Thai place across from our brunch café. they also offered sushi, and at reasonable prices, so why not?
we were so hungry by now, but I think Stine's face says it all! LOL it really wasn't that great, and later when we got back to the apartment and saw the lively mood and smelled the delicious food from the Thai place next to the apartment, we kicked ourselves for not going to that place instead >_<

we set the alarm for 8am on Saturday cos we wanted to see if we could make it to this market before we had to leave Berlin, but since we went to bed at 10:30 it was still plenty of sleep xD

look how pretty our street was with all the cherry trees ♥
after having packed up the apartment we went to have breakfast at the same café as yesterday, and at first we thought it was closed but it was just cos we got there at 9, just when they opened.
we didn't order the same breakfast cos way too much food, but in the end we still ended up with enough to make sandwiches.
and then we talked some more, and even though we were supposed to eat fairly quickly so we could go to the market, we didn't leave until 10:30 cos talked so much orz

the market was on the other end of Prenzlauer Berg, but instead of using time walking back and forth, we took the car so we could just drive directly home from there.
also, we weren't even sure the market would be there on Saturday cos the markets Stine had read about were all on Sundays, but as it turned out Kollwitzstraße market was also on Saturdays! ^^

there are a lot of different markets, but this one is a mix of organic/hand-made/home-made delis, different arts and crafts, and produce. 
we just wandered around on our own, and besides chipping in for some goodies for Marie's parents as a thank you for lending us the car, I bought 2 cantaloupe melons, some specialty beers and a chocolate heart for hubs, hot chocolate, not hot cocoa but actual melted chocolate mixed with milk, and a sandwich to bring along for later for lunch.

we had aimed to leave around noon, but we didn't get out of town until 12:30. Stine drove at first, but then I drove all the rest of the way home. we still talked, but by the end the girls got a little snoozy and napped the last half hour before the ferry. I had my mp3 to keep me company so it was okay ^^

despite our late departure from Berlin, we had apparently calculate with way too much time cos we arrived at the ferry an hour early this time, but fortunately there wasn't much traffic so we ended up getting on the next ferry out.

after we docked in DK, we called hubs to meet up an hour earlier to pick us up, so once we neared home we met up at this highway off-ramp cos Marie was going East and we were going West, and then that was the end of that.

even if it was a long way to drive for such a short time, it really was a great trip. the girls shopped a whole lot more than me, but since I enjoy just sitting outside and people-watch more than shopping for clothes and and kids' stuff anyways, a good time was had all around. 

and it was a real treat to have so much time to talk again. 
I think it's safe to say that for at least the past 12-14 years since we all got boyfriends and moved out and away, we haven't had just hours and hours to talk about any and everything like we used to when we were still living at home - not that we lived together, but we all grew up next door to each other and are practically sisters, so we used to do everything together, but nowadays, with hubbys and jobs and kids, we see each other for a few nights a month usually, sometimes even less, and it's not quite the same.

so this was a really special time  

fortunately we all agree it won't be the last time we go away together.

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